Last year, Chris Tarrant suffered a stroke on a flight from Bangkok to London and the scary incident left the TV star with a whole new perspective on life and his career.
As well as giving up drinking whisky, on doctor’s orders, he realised he used to “work like a dog” and he’ll never do a reality show, ever, despite being constantly asked, because he doesn’t want to be “stuck on an island with Kerry Katona”.
Oh, how we’ve missed you from Saturday night telly, Chris!
Speaking in an honest interview with Metro newspaper, he said: “I worked like a dog for a long time and I don’t want to anymore. I don’t want to stop yet, I’m having a break and we’ll see what’s around next year.
“I get asked to do reality shows but I don’t want to be stuck on an island with Kerry Katona.”
Asked if he regrets throwing in the towel on ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’ he added: “No. We all decided we’d had enough. People have shouted ‘phone a friend!’ at me three times this morning. I’ve always left things when I’ve had a good time and it’s time to move on.”
Chris admits it took him months to full get back to health and retrain his voice, which slurred following the stroke.
The 70-year-old TV star said: “I’m very lucky. A lot of people don’t get away with it. And it happened when I was on a flight from Bangkok to London. I’ve changed a few things, I’ve done what the doctors said. I don’t work as hard and don’t drink whisky any more.
“It took nine months and a lot of it was speech training as it’s a very important part of what I do. My speech was slurred for a while. And I did loads of physiotherapy hitting exercise bags. I wanted to get my strength back.”
Chris has just finished filming a series called ‘Extreme Railway Journeys’ and has written a book about his journey around the world.
He added: “My first trip in a plane was very nerve wracking, as the last time I’d been at Heathrow I’d left it in an ambulance. But once we’d taken off I was fine.”
‘Extreme Railway Journeys’ Christmas Special airs on December 19 on 9pm on Channel 5 and his book is out now.